Are you a nursing professional or a health care professional who comes from abroad and wants to work in Germany? Then you need to fulfil various requirements and apply for your work permit. As an internationally oriented headhunting agency for the health care sector, we deal with these procedures from time to time and have compiled here what needs to be observed and which documents and proofs are required.

Carrying the Professional Title

Basically, as a nurse or health care professional, you must apply to carry the professional title. This entitles you to practise the profession.

This application is submitted to the relevant competent authority. Since the licensing of professionals is a matter for the federal states in Germany, this is correspondingly related to where you want to work in Germany and you should deal with this in good time. In most cases, the federal state authorities require proof of competence in the form of an employment contract, an expression of interest from an employer or proof of main residence in the federal state.

Fundamental Documents

Regardless of which authority you apply to and regardless of your specific training or your country of origin or training, you must always submit your curriculum vitae, birth certificate and, if applicable, change of name certificate and proof of identity in the form of an identity card or passport. In addition, proof of German language skills at a minimum of B2 level is required.

Furthermore, you must prove that you are personally and health-wise able and suitable to exercise your profession in the health sector. Personal suitability is checked by means of your certificates of good conduct from Germany, your home country and, if required, your country of training. Your medical fitness must be determined by a physician.

Moreover, you must submit the relevant evidence of your training. What exactly the authorities require here depends on your training and country of origin. All certificates must also be in the original language and in German - the translation must be done by an official body.

Nursing Professionals from the EU, EEA and Switzerland

For nursing professionals from the European Union, the European Economic Area or Switzerland, the recognition of their training is comparatively easy, as it is standardised across all countries and recognition is automatic.

Nursing Professionals from Third Countries and Health Professionals

For nursing professionals from so-called third countries and all health professionals, recognition is more complicated, as the training is not standardised here. Accordingly, in addition to proof of completed training, applicants must submit a detailed overview of subjects and hours, as well as proof of professional experience and completed internships. The authorities then carry out an equivalence assessment on this basis.

If the training cannot be equated with the one in Germany, there is the option of taking a knowledge test or gaining appropriate qualifications through further training in Germany.

Applicants from third countries must also have a visa with a work permit.

Duration and Costs

An application to bear the professional title and thus to be admitted to practice the profession can take between several months and a year. The fees range from €100 to €360 - plus fees for, for example, language certificates, visa or the official translation of all documents.

Detailed information on the required documents as well as links to all competent federal states authorities can be found in our detailed article on this topic.

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